Monty Don: Gardeners’ World host filmed BBC show as dog Nigel spent final hours at vets
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Monty Don, 65, has opened up about the “traumatic” experience of witnessing his dog Nigel suffering seizures ahead of his death. The BBC broadcaster’s pet pooch was later taken to the veterinary surgery, where he died in May.
Monty has now spoken candidly about the heartbreaking moment, saying he made the decision to continue the gardening programme.
“I have witnessed a seizure and it’s really shocking, it’s really traumatic,” Monty explained.
“It’s such a violent thing and as someone who is trying to help, I sort of know what to do.”
He added: “But it feels inadequate. Because it’s so violent and people can break bones.
“Anyway, imagine you have a large dog doing just that all night long? Again, and again, and again.”
Speaking with Griefcast host Cariad Llyod, she quizzed: “And he’s never had seizures before?”
“No,” Monty replied. “So by the morning, I was thinking, ‘Please just die.’
“And because of lockdown at that point, people were being asked to not go to hospitals.”
Monty explained that his beloved dog continued to have fits on the way to the veterinary surgery, but he was forced to stay in the car park.
Despite Nigel’s health issues, the BBC host explained he still went on to film Gardeners’ World the same day.
He commented: “I had to film that day. So, I filmed Gardeners’ World with this going on and there were phone calls coming in all day.
“They were saying, ‘We’ve tried this…. it’s not working.”
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It was later agreed with the vet that they would increase the dosage and put Nigel to sleep.
“And finally the drug they used is the drug they use to put dogs down,” Monty recalled.
“They said, ‘Let’s up the dose and that’ll end it.”
He added: “[Nigel] had a brain tumour and just at that critical moment the tumour had grown.”
Monty recalled encountering another difficult issue, as he was unable to bury his beloved dog straight away due to his filming schedule.
The horticulturalist continued: “But I said, ‘I can’t bury him tonight or tomorrow because I’m filming’, so they put him in the freezer.
“The whole thing was incredibly gut-wrenchingly sad, but at the same time hysterically funny so I said, ‘Please make him look nice’.
“And they said, ‘We’re going to have to fit him in’ and he was a big dog!”
The father-of-three has two remaining dogs, Nell and Patti, who are regularly seen on his Instagram account and on Gardeners’ World.
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